When I walked into the Sinclair a little too early and all by myself, I was met with a relatively young and stationary crowd. As the room started to fill, people remained motionless despite the opening DJ’s uplifting tunes. It was a relaxed and comfortable lack of movement that rendered the lone dancer wildly out of place.
It wasn’t long after The Range – recent Brown graduate James Hinton – walked on stage that the crowd gravitated towards him. However, it wasn’t until about halfway through his set that the room began bobbing along — not because the music was ill-received or low-energy, but because the crowd had to figure out how to interact with the music.
The Range is not a hands-in-the-air, bumpin’-bumpin’ sort of DJ. Although he did demand the crowd’s full attention, he did it by delivering a unique and captivating sound. Warped vocal samples led most songs and delivered a sound that was pleasantly disorienting.
Because of this, the Range is certainly not limited to one particular context. It has the potential to please guests at a party or complement a day on the beach. The show managed to be simultaneously relaxing and stimulating. Breezy synth set the mood and Hinton’s energy on stage kept attention. As he mouthed almost all the words to his music, the audience took his cue to just go with the flow. He communicated the tone of each song with swift and effortless movement controlling his equipment.
Although songs such as Loftmane didn’t have an effortless fluidity, the lack of continuity was what made The Range so appealing. Other songs like Metal Swing did have a more consistent and predictable beat, adding diversity to the set. Some songs would appear to be going in one direction, then veer off into another. And the sampled vocals in some songs lacked melody, making their sharpness all the more cutting.
The Range is ultimately an exploration of the relationship between noise and music. And that made for the most interesting concert I’ve ever been to.
- Diverse set
- Original sound
- Growing crowd because he was opening for Jon Hopkins
- Crowd lacked enthusiasm initially